in search of sun cups at night
We spent a lot of time debating whether or not the blackened landscape was beautiful or horrific. My opinion kept changing daily. I had gotten the idea to put my bright blue wool socks on one morning…I thought they might cheer me and everyone else up, but I was wrong. Even in times like these, quick fixes are still quick fixes, and I never wore them again. I think everybody knew there was nothing to be done but to take stock of our new surroundings and accept them. Nobody really wanted to be there, what choice did we have?
Exhausted, we spent long days dusting snow off the frozen ground and trying to dig holes in it. I was put in charge of maintaining an abandoned free-standing chimney that must have been attached to a house at one time. One day when I was wading through the bramble that had grown around it, I decided to stick my hands in the opening of the chimney to see what I could find…I pulled out a curious collection of items: a frozen and dried lime, a dirty sponge, some nails, a hairbrush. I wasn’t sure what to do with them or why they were there…I had hoped for something simple…a bundle of photographs, maybe a book? I spent long hours lining the objects up on the ground in different orders and looking at them to try and figure out how they fit together.
Night time was spent making escape plans, though we all admitted our new world was almost beautiful in the dark…the sky was always starless and velvety, and the remnants of the forest became a charming menagerie of tunnels and hiding places. Fact was nothing but fiction in these moments and we sometimes were hesitant to sleep because we didn’t want to miss looking at our surroundings in the night light. It was the only time I felt calm and hopeful. As the sun rose each day, we found ourselves silently wishing that all that imagined beauty from the night would really be before us.
Over the past decade, I have become fascinated with exploring ideas surrounding the existence of a parallel or “alt” universe, and finding a way to represent it visually. What if we opened everyday doors and instead of seeing what we expected to see, we saw how we existed in the same moment but in another place in time? What if that alternative world wasn’t frightening, but instead place where colour, nature, and our souls made sense in their own unique and curious way?
As an artist who sees the process of creating art as non-linear, I find that I experience the past, present, and future lives of my work all simultaneously. These stages of time happen all at once, sometimes not at all, and sometimes infinitely with no end in sight. I find everyday curiousness, the physical mementos (such as photographs and paper ephemera I use in my work), and the history and images from past travels to be present every time I bring pen to paper. For when one speaks to me about my work and my creative process, I wish they could see it all–the beginnings, the unknowns, the forgotten, the lost, the joyous, and the never-ending beauty of the story that brought me to this exact place and time.
I am a 1996 graduate of Bennington College and received my MFA in 2005 from The School of Visual Arts, where I focused on the mediums of painting, drawing, and collage. I moved to Providence, Rhode Island in 2008, and in 2018 set up shop at Lyra Art Studios in the city’s Olneyville neighborhood. My most recent solo show, “When You Speak to Me, This is What I See,” was curated by Periphery Space and presented at Paper Nautilus in Providence, featuring a studio-like installation of my collages and drawings.